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piano man and the king of the world (pt.1)

by Hattable


A month ago I hiked to the top of a rocky overlook in the Utah wilderness with some of my closest friends, seeking a prime stargazing spot. We arrived well before sunset, planning to avoid a nighttime run-in with the spiky green cacti and steep cliff sides we'd grown accustomed to encountering in the region. It wasn't a long hike, but the countless natural stairs and twists up to our destination, on top of our fatigue from the day's previous hikes, made us feel like we'd just tackled our longest adventure yet. Dust kicked up beneath our feet as we climbed and lizards skittered to the safe confines of anywhere-but-near-us. Eventually we crested the final hump of rock and looked out on the canyon below. The sun was setting by now - just in time! We threw off our hiking bags, cracked out some trail mix, and prepared to reap the rewards of our journey.

As the sun drifted lazily behind the surrounding mountaintops, the light blue daytime sky melted into a sea of orange and pink, and then gradually was overtaken by darker hues of red and indigo before, ultimately, black. Pinpricks of white broke through the blanket of darkness; distant stars and constellations twinkling to life above us. It was a view unattainable in the city sky we'd left at home and every bit worth the climb to see. My friend pulled out his phone and turned on Billy Joel's Piano Man, and the six of us watched the ocean of stars above, the music and our own voices echoing off the canyon walls around us.

*

A/N: This is the first coherent thing I've written in absolute ages and it was only written because of my English Composition class, but I kind of liked the last paragraph in particular and figured I'd share it. I've still got to write a whole narrative essay around this (or, rather, what "home" means to me, and I chose this), but that trip in particular had a lot of good moments to include.


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Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:34 am
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

Anyway let's get right to it,

A month ago I hiked to the top of a rocky overlook in the Utah wilderness with some of my closest friends, seeking a prime stargazing spot. We arrived well before sunset, planning to avoid a nighttime run-in with the spiky green cacti and steep cliff sides we'd grown accustomed to encountering in the region. It wasn't a long hike, but the countless natural stairs and twists up to our destination, on top of our fatigue from the day's previous hikes, made us feel like we'd just tackled our longest adventure yet. Dust kicked up beneath our feet as we climbed and lizards skittered to the safe confines of anywhere-but-near-us. Eventually we crested the final hump of rock and looked out on the canyon below. The sun was setting by now, just in time! We threw off our hiking bags, cracked out some trail mix, and prepared to reap the rewards of our journey.


Hmm, so we've got ourselves a pretty condensed sounding description of this hike up a small mountain of sorts here. You've sort of started out here by setting the scene of sorts with them arriving and the reasons for the arriving when they did...and also establishing that they were a bit tired from earlier hikes. With all of this in mind, you then proceed to describe essentially the final moments with them managing to reach their destination, which I think is a neat way of presenting this here. I like how its very much in terms of highlights among the road with the scattering animals and dust being kicked up. It feels like some kind of walking montage from a movie...and just a pleasant piece to read here.

As the sun drifted lazily beneath the surrounding mountaintops, the light blue daytime sky melted into a sea of orange and pink, and then gradually was overtaken by darker hues of red and indigo before, ultimately, black. Pinpricks of white broke through the blanket of darkness; distant stars and constellations twinkling to life above us. It was a view unattainable in the city sky we'd left at home and every bit worth the climb to see. My friend pulled out his phone and turned on Billy Joel's Piano Man, and the six of us watched the blanket of stars above, the music and our own voices echoing off the canyon walls around us.


Hmm...this last paragraph has a lovely vibe to it, its almost like a time lapse of a sunset almost, you've got some very specific descriptions that also seem to refer to not just the beauty of the environment, but also manages to very neatly capture the element of time spent up in that place...before you sort of echo out the story with the friends all celebrating being at the top of the mountain.

Overall, this was a really fun story to run into here. Its very relaxing, and it talks of this shared triumph between friends, which does bring a smile to the reader's face. Its a very simple plot here...but I think you capture the essence of this journey and the feeling of succeeding at said journey fairly well here. :D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:55 am
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SpiritedWolfe wrote a review...



Hey Hatt! I'm glad to see some of your writing around again ^^ So allow me to share some thoughts on the start of this essay you have here.

First of all, this was really well written; I loved reading it! The whole piece has a great flow, making it really easy to read and I very quickly got pulled into the scene you were setting up. Not to mention, I love the voice you have throughout this piece. It sounds really conversational, like you're retelling this to me around a campfire in a similar setting you've written, but it still has gorgeous imagery that paints a solid picture in my head. It was really great to read!

As for an introduction to the rest of the piece, I think it does its purpose well to set up a scene. The only thing that I might caution, but is ultimately a thing of personal preference, is that it might be hard to keep up the same strong imagery and whimsical energy you've set up here throughout the entire piece. This can easily be remedied with a good transition that keeps the same type of conversational tone to link the two pieces, so just be aware of that as your write on.

Now, you mentioned that this is a piece about what "home" means to you, so I like that you've taken a moment that is distinctly away from your physical home. This probably means that you'll be exploring the trip with your friends as a sense of home, and the emotion around this event being "homey". I think a good place to go next is to set up some of your own emotions throughout this event. As I said before, you've done a great job of setting the scene and giving us a feeling to hold on to, so the next place to go might be to narrow in a bit more. Maybe give us pieces of the conversation, or zoom into your own head to throw in your own thoughts and emotions so that we can start to connect with your story sooner.

Hope some of these thoughts gave you more ideas of where to go next. Let me know if you have any questions or want to bounce ideas around ^^

Happy writing!
~ Wolfe

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Hattable says...


Hey Spirited! Thanks so much for the review - you have no idea how happy I was about that notification, lol.

I'm glad you enjoyed my descriptions!! Always a great compliment to receive and I'm happy the flow worked out!

I feel like I've written myself into a bit of a corner with this one, because the first paragraph could definitely work as my introduction, but the second one ends in a way that I'd really like to be the end of the entire essay? or at least the end before a quick conclusive statement - so I've gotta figure out how I'm gonna structure all of this I guess.
I like that you've taken a moment that is distinctly away from your physical home.

Yoo, thanks, this is exactly what I was going for - during class we had some downtime and were told to work on our rough draft and all I got was a short bit about, like, home away from Home the Place bla bla, trips and such with my friends have attained their own sense of "home". I've gotta stretch that out into a thousand words. And good point on the difficulty in keeping up the same tone throughout. Fingers crossed I can get it done.
Maybe give us pieces of the conversation, or zoom into your own head to throw in your own thoughts and emotions so that we can start to connect with your story sooner.

This is also a great uhhhh suggestion that's the word- If only I could actually recall real thoughts I had or what the conversation was even about haha - gonna have to sprinkle a bit of fiction into this it seems.

Thanks again! I'll maybe possibly post the complete version whenever I get it done, if I feel it's decent enough to share.



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Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:47 am
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey!

RandomTalks here with a very short review!

This was a really simple, short and yet wholesome read. I loved your beautiful imageries and the way you described the journey.

As the sun drifted lazily beneath the surrounding mountaintops, the light blue daytime sky melted into a sea of orange and pink, and then gradually was overtaken by darker hues of red and indigo before, ultimately, black. Pinpricks of white broke through the blanket of darkness; distant stars and constellations twinkling to life above us.


This, especially was the most beautiful description I have read in a while, and I agree with you - 'I kind of like it too'! I loved the colors you included, and the scene you have painted in front of our eyes, soft and yet vivid. It really stands out in the piece and I really like your word choice.

Overall, I think you have something brilliant here. Only you need to expand around it, because it felt too short to me. It needs that extra push, that extra mile to make it linger in your reader's minds. Maybe you can describe the journey some more, or maybe you can explore that "feeling of home" you were talking about. This has a lot of great opportunities and I am excited to see what you do with this.

Keep writing and have a great day!




Hattable says...


Hey, thanks for the review!
Only you need to expand around it, because it felt too short to me. It needs that extra push, that extra mile to make it linger in your reader's minds.

Currently working on that in class! I need a rough draft of the whole thing (only 1k words, easyy) by Wednesday. AAAA I'm not really sure where to go with it from here- I might circle back and give more introduction - I have a lot of trips to pull ideas from, and a lot of instances from that one trip alone, but it was a week and a half and our prof wants us to just focus in on a single moment, no more than a day or two, so,,,

It'll be fiiiiine - thanks again!



RandomTalks says...


You are welcome!
And I don't think focusing on one single moment will be much trouble for you. You are great at descriptions!




Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
— Winston Churchill